By Carla Helené Ezell
They are doing all kinds of construction in my town. They are putting in new cobblestone corners on all the sidewalks, updating the fountain in the center of town and installing new crosswalks on the main streets, all in an effort to beautify the city. Wonderful.
While that's great and all, there are things that, in my opinion, should really be addressed first. I mean, yea, we want to live in a pretty town with flowers and trees lining each street and historical markers throughout to symbolize that we have endured the test of time and thriving. We encourage people to take care of their houses and properties to raise the value of our real estate and keep things moving forward in a positive way. But, before we address those outer appearance things that cost a grip in taxes, there are other things that should get some attention too.
We have potholes in my town. Every road has potholes and broken cement and driving is ridiculous because you have to constantly swerve and pay close attention so you don't wreck your car. It's asinine. I have had blow outs from the shoddy patch work the lazy construction crews left behind. I literally blew out a tire because I hit a pot hole on one of the main streets and had to pay upward of $500 to replace the wheel (the entire mag was bent and undriveable) and the tire on car. DISGUSTING.
The point is, it is great to have pretty things and look like you've got your act together on the outside but when you haven't taken care of the garbage on the inside, when you haven't done the hard work of getting healthy, you are doing yourself and everyone you come in contact with a huge disservice. Just like the regular road maintenance required to prevent cracks or repaving the street after the gas mains were all replaced, you have to do the real work of getting healthy from the inside out. If you leave cracks and holes in the streets from one end of the town to the other, instead of repaving the roads, you are merely putting band-aids over the scars on your heart.
Our experiences and past hurts change us. And if we don't let those wounds truly heal, we are bringing ourselves to a place of constant pain and neglect. When we don't correct the heart issues we are plagued with but just do all this work to beautify the outer layer - we are essentially putting lipstick on a pig. And who wants to kiss a pig?
Carla is a performer, playwrite, director, blogger and entrepreneur from Burlington County, New Jersey. She joined The Bridge PHL's team in 2017, and has worked behind the scenes in everything from web design to photography to social media management. Her background in Psychology, Social Sciences and nearly two decades experience in Business Administration, Christian Ministries, and Worship Arts, gives Carla a unique perspective that has helped further The Bridge PHL's mission and opens dialogues on self-love, women's empowerment, racial equality and the power of black girl magic. Check out her blog and the entire Living With Purpose series here.